Medicare Supplement Plans ("Medigap")
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A Medicare Supplement Broker That Gets It
There are an overwhelming number of Medicare Supplement Plans and Medicare Supplement Carriers to choose from. We hear it again and again from Medicare Supplement Plan clients that contact us.
You’re likely here for one (or more) of the following reasons:
- You’re not sure if you need a Medicare Supplement Plan.
- You don’t know which Medicare Supplement Plan is best for you.
- You don’t know which Medicare Supplement Carrier is best for you.
- You’re curious if you’re paying too much.
- You want to know you made the right decision.
If any of these feel familiar, rest assured you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done the legwork, and we know the best plans, best carriers, and best prices when it comes to Medicare Supplement Plans.
What Is a Medicare Supplement Plan?
A Medicare Supplement (“Medigap”) Plan is an insurance policy that helps cover many of the “gaps” in Original Medicare. Private insurance companies sell these plans, such as Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mutual of Omaha, etc.
Original Medicare pays for a good portion of covered healthcare services, and supplies, but doesn’t pay for all of the costs. Medicare Supplement plans help pay for many of the costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover – such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
If you have Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement Plan, Original Medicare will pay its share of the Medicare-approved amounts for healthcare costs. And then, your Medicare Supplement Plan will pay its share.
All Medicare Supplement plans are standardized and must follow federal and state laws. In most states, these plans are named by letters, A through N. Each standardized plan under the same plan letter must offer the same benefits – regardless of which insurance carrier issues it.
What Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cover?
The chart below will give you a brief look at what the various Medicare Supplement Plans cover. All plans are standardized and have specific benefits so you can easily compare them.
Plans E, H, I, and J are no longer available. However, if you already have one, you can usually keep it.
Plans C and F are no longer available to individuals new to Medicare after January 1, 2020. However, if you already have a Plan C or F, you can keep it. Also, if you were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020, you may be able to buy a Plan C or F.
What Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cost?
The cost of a particular Plan is going to depend on a number of factors. Costs will be determined by your age, the area you live in, your gender, and whether or not use tobacco. The cost of the Plan may also depend on whether the insurance carrier offers discounts (household, ETF, etc.), medical underwriting (if you don’t have a guaranteed issue right and aren’t in an Open Enrollment Period), SELECT policies (that require the use of certain providers), and “high-deductible” options.
The cost of Medicare Supplement Plans can vary widely. And there can be large differences in premiums from carrier to carrier. When you shop for Medicare Supplement Plans it is important to compare Plans of the same type.
How Do I Buy A Medicare Supplement Plan?
The Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services have outlined the following steps for buying a Medicare Supplement Plan:
Step 1: Decide which plan you want.
Compare the benefits of the various Plans A-N. Choose the plan that covers what you need. Think about future healthcare needs also when deciding.
Step 2: Pick your plan.
See what plans are available in your area. After you select the letter of the Plan, price is the only difference between plans with the same letter sold by different companies.
Step 3: Contact the company.
Contact the insurance carrier for an official quote for the plan you want. You can also work with a licensed agent or broker who can look up these quotes for you. Prices can change at any time.
Step 4: Buy your Medicare Supplement Plan.
To buy, you will need to fill out an application. If you buy during an Open Enrollment Period or have guaranteed issue rights, you won’t have to answer any health questions. The insurance carrier will let you know how to pay for the plan. Many carriers offer monthly automatic bank withdrawals, but each carrier is different.
Medicare Supplemetn Plan FAQs
A Medigap Plan and a Medicare Supplement Plan are the exact same thing. They can be called either or.
Medicare Supplement Plans generally don’t cover long-term care, vision or dental services, hearing aids, eyeglasses, and private-duty nursing.
The best time to buy a Plan is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. During this Period, insurance carriers cannot use medical underwriting to decide whether or not to accept your application. This means the carrier cannot deny you because of health problems.
Medicare SELECT Plans are a type of Medicare Supplement plan that require you to use hospitals, and, in some cases, doctors within its network to be eligible for full benefits. In return, SELECT plans are usually less expensive than other Plans.
Your Medigap Open Enrollment Period is a one-time-only, six-month period when you can buy any Medicare Supplement Plan sold in your state. The period begins the month you’re covered under Medicare Part B, and 65 and older.
Guarantee issue rights are your rights to buy certain Medicare Supplement plans in certain situations. In these situations, the insurance carrier must sell you a Plan and must cover all your pre-existing health conditions. The carrier also may not charge you more regardless of past or present health problems.
There are several different scenarios in which you may get guarantee issue rights. Some examples may be — (a) your Medicare Advantage plan is leaving your area, or you move out of the plan’s area; (b) you have a SELECT Plan, and move out of the area; (c) you’re in a Medicare Plan trial right; (d) you’re Medicare Supplement Plan carrier went bankrupt.
You may be able to switch to a different Plan, but if you are not within you’re Open Enrolment Period, or have guaranteed issue rights, you will have to apply and be accepted. The insurance carrier can deny you coverage, so do not cancel your current Plan until you have been approved for the new plan.
No, in most cases Medicare Supplement Plans are guaranteed renewable. This means the carrier can’t drop you unless: (a) you don’t pay the premiums; (b) you lied on the application; (c) the carrier becomes bankrupt.
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